Sam Maller | Asst. Photo EditorPulp
Well engaged: Grant Auditorium sets an unlikely stage for romantic proposal to one lucky student
Students shuffled into Joseph Fanelli’s CFS 388: “Human Sexuality” class in Grant Auditorium on Dec. 5, 2012, just like every Wednesday before that, expecting a lesson. However, everyone left with a lot more than they bargained for — none more so than Kimberly Martinez.
Martinez, a senior psychology major, and Matthew Mouille, who graduated from SU in 2012, met on May 3 of that year and started dating a week later. Mouille knew right away she was the one.
“I was talking about it with my mom, and she said, ‘How do you know you want to marry her?’ and I said ‘Mom, if you’re with the right person, when you know, you know,’” Mouille said. “It may be a short time, but when you know, it’s hard to put into words, but you just know that’s the one. It’s something in your heart that just tells you.”
Mouille expressed exactly what was in his heart in front of Martinez, along with an entire auditorium of people, when he surprised her with a marriage proposal. Filmed by a student in the class, the proposal in Grant quickly became a viral video on YouTube.
Mouille left no stone unturned when it came to preparing for the big moment. Since he was not a member of the class, Mouille sat in on the class a few weeks prior to the proposal to get a lay of the land. When he realized how receptive and understanding the class was, there was no stopping him.
“To be honest, it was the perfect setup,” Mouille said.
He loved the room itself, especially for its acoustic possibilities, because Mouille planned on playing a song during the exchange. He realized the auditorium setting would allow it to be heard well.
He also knew he would benefit from the stage and the two aisles to which it led.
“It was the perfect trifecta of things that were going on that I wanted for her. I didn’t want it in a classroom because it just wouldn’t be as memorable,” Mouille said. “I wanted it to be as big and grand as I possibly could within my budget.”
Next, he spoke to professor Fanelli about his plan. He approved the idea but also helped Mouille avoid some awkward situations.
The first day Mouille had planned on proposing was timed around his and Martinez’s six-month anniversary. However, when he told Fanelli about this plan, he was informed that the course would be discussing HIV/AIDS, or something along those lines, on that day.
When Mouille asked about proposing the week after that, Fanelli told him the topic for that week would be incest and rape.
“We put it off and tried to find a proper time because the topics were so sad,” Mouille said.
Finally, Fanelli suggested Dec. 5 because it was the last day of class and would therefore likely produce a larger student turnout.
While Martinez thought Mouille was on campus doing research, he was actually rehearsing, singing “Grow Old With You” by Adam Sandler with back-up guitarist Max Puglese.
“I chose it because it’s her favorite love song,” Mouille said. “She loves that song. I modified a few lines to tailor more towards specifics between Kimberly and I. I made the song more our song.”
Though Martinez had suspected Mouille had proposal plans in the past, he caught her off guard that night in class.
“When I saw the guitarist come down, I was looking in the crowd to see who the lucky girl was,” Martinez said.
It was when Martinez started to hear the lyrics to the song that she realized and was “just in shock.”
When it comes to Mouille’s singing skills, Martinez remains loyal to her new fiancée.
“He’s a great singer,” Martinez said. “Oh my goodness. He’s the best.”
Though the couple has not set a date for the ceremony, they plan on having the wedding in California, where they will read handwritten vows. Until then, apartment No. 222 at 401 University Village remains vacant as Martinez waits for someone willing to take it off her hands after moving in with her new fiancé.
They are, according to Mouille, “just living life as a happy couple with new experiences around every corner.”
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